ID Theft and Real Estate Fraud Scheme

Long Beach Broker and Another Man Arrested in Wide Ranging ID Theft and Real Estate Fraud Scheme
**Photos of the defendants are being released to the media in an attempt to identify other possible victims. (Hutchings in orange shirt, Hoch in black stripped shirt) 

On October 23, 2017, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged 59-year-old Real Estate Broker Andrew Hutchings and 60-year-old Ronald Hoch, both residents of Long Beach, in a criminal complaint, case number BA462055, with Identity Theft, Forgery, Procuring and Offering a False Instrument, Grand Theft, and Money Laundering. Warrants were issued for their arrests. 

It is alleged that between 2013 and 2017, the defendants participated in a sophisticated scheme targeting elderly and deceased victims who owned vacant homes in the cities of Los Angeles, Lakewood, Hemet and Westlake Village. The defendants allegedly impersonated the victims and then sold, or attempted to sell the victims’ homes, or obtained loans using the victims’ homes as collateral. Proceeds from the fraud were laundered by purchasing gold coins from out of state companies, and shipping the coins to mail boxes in California which were obtained under false names. 

The total loss in the case exceeds $190,000, however it is believed that the defendants attempted to steal over $1 million in equity from the victims’ homes. 

Andrew Hutchings was arrested at his home on November 6, 2017, and is being held on $645,000 bail. Ronald Hoch was arrested near his home on November 2, 2017 and is being held on $500,000 bail. Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on November 7, 2017, in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. 

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

This was a joint investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department. Investigators believe there are other victims and are asking anyone with questions or information about this incident to contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Fraud & Cyber Crimes Bureau, Sergeant Alex Gilinets at (562) 522-0780. 

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org